After failing his post-fight drug test for elevated levels of testosterone, spoiling arguably the best heavyweight fight in MMA history, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (pictured) claimed innocence because he did everything his licensed doctor directed him to do while on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
Guess what? Nobody was really buying what Silva was selling, and neither is UFC president Dana White.
“So, I told you we test the s*** out of these guys that are doing TRT,” White stated following Thursday’s UFC 168 pre-fight press conference. “We gave [Silva] his last test the week of the fight, he was perfect. He took another shot [of TRT after the test] to put him over. And what does that extra shot really do for you the week of the fight?
“It destroyed everything. Now you don’t get the win money – we were giving both guys show and win money – and you won the [Fight of the Night] bonus. Now you lost your win money and your bonus money. Ouch.”
The cheater’s handbook for TRT suggests athletes are manipulating the regimen while preparing for a fight. They will jack up their testosterone levels beyond normal ranges in order to push their bodies to its outermost limit. As showtime steadily approaches, they will then taper off the treatment to get their testosterone back to a natural level – therefore, no flunked drug tests.
However, Silva took a different route and ultimately tested hot. White – who was more jacked up than anybody by Silva’s instant classic with Mark Hunt, which resulted in a majority draw earlier this month, that he had Roots of Fight make him the shirt he wore during the UFC of FOX 9 weigh-ins promoting a rematch between the heavyweights – is baffled and bummed.
“Where [TRT] really helps you is during training,” White added. “It helps you heal faster and all this other stuff. Taking that extra shot the week of the fight just put your levels through the roof and doesn’t give you any extra… If he didn’t take that shot, they would have had the same fight, probably. It’s just not worth the risk, why risk it?
“It bummed me out. I loved that fight so much. Tell me the last time you saw two heavyweights go at it back-and-forth like that, ever? I mean, it’s been a long time. I mean, I was bummed out.”
Of course, this wasn’t the first time Silva has tested positive. The nearly-nine-year veteran was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission after beating Justin Eilers to capture the EliteXC heavyweight title back in July 2008 after the anabolic steroid Boldenone was discovered in his system.
Silva lost out on at least $125,000 in bonuses and was issued a nine-month suspension.